Christine Ro, Science Journalist at Forbes magazine, recently talked about the potential of new technology tools to protect patients from falsified and substandard medicines in Nigeria.
The article explores the increasing availability of technology-driven solutions to combat counterfeit medicines and their potential impact in ensuring the authenticity and quality of medications. Amongst the innovative tools that are highlighted by the author is Chekkit by health tech firm Chekkit Technologies. Chekkit was the the first traceability service provider in Nigeria to be approved by NAFDAC and GS1 and allows verification in more ways than competitors – through a mobile app, SMS and more and is thus a more sophisticated version of the established Mobile Authentication Service (MAS).
Despite the promising potential of these technological solutions, the article also emphasizes that the success of these tools depends on their acceptance and utilization by the targeted population. Factors such as limited access to smartphones, low digital literacy rates, and cultural attitudes towards technology may hinder the widespread adoption of these solutions. Furthermore, it is important that the technologies are user-friendly, affordable, and tailored to the specific needs and contexts of the Nigerian population.
In conclusion, while technological innovations offer significant opportunities to combat counterfeit medicines in Nigeria and elsewhere, it is crucial to address barriers to adoption and usage. The successful integration of these tools into healthcare systems requires collaborative efforts from stakeholders, including government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and patient advocacy groups. The article also mentions the Fight the Fakes Flagship event during Fight the Fakes Week last year, where speakers also addressed these topics. We are glad that our events are helping to connect stakeholders and bring such conversations forward.
By addressing the challenges and promoting awareness, education, and accessibility, it is hoped that Nigeria can harness the potential of technology to effectively combat the problem of falsified substandard medicines and enhance patient safety.
Read the full article here.